Biomolecules and nanostructures

The Optical Sciences group studies the interaction of light and matter. Our current focus is on detection and sensing/imaging with an emphasis on the development of integrated photonics. We are part of Twente University's Department of Science and Technology and member of the MESA+ institute.


NanoBit, a molecular optical switch

The goal of the project is to switch individual molecules by optical means. The molecules will be addressed using a near-field optical probe: a nanometer-sized optical source allowing highly localised excitation. The optical field will be modulated in amplitude, polarisation and wavelength with high frequency or alternatively ultra-short femto-second pulses will be delivered. Suitable molecules are being synthesised by supra-molecular chemists in a close collaboration within this project. Different switching routes will be investigated: orientational switching using electric field induced poling and subsequent polarisation sensitive detection, conformational switching based on photo-induced cis-trans isomerisation by two colour laser excitation, and finally switching of the molecular quantum yield.